Riley & Son (E) Ltd, is a railway locomotive engineering and refurbishment company. Founded in 1992 as Ian Riley Engineering, the company has been a leader in main line steam haulage, being one of the pioneers of fitting air brake, TPWS and OTMR equipment to steam locomotives. Having originally been based at the East Lancashire Railway in Bury, in 2016 it moved to Heywood.[1]

Riley & Son
FounderIan Riley
ServicesRailway locomotive engineering
OwnerIan Riley

Spot hire companyEdit

In the early 2000s, Ian Riley Engineering operated as a spot-hire company purchasing five Class 37s diesel locomotives (37038, 37197, 37235, 37261 and 37423) from EWS.[2] The first (37197) entered service in a brunswick green and grey livery in November 2001.[3] All were sold in 2003/04 to Direct Rail Services and West Coast Railways.[4][5]

Notable projectsEdit

Flying ScotsmanEdit

In January 2006, work began at the National Railway Museum on an overhaul of Flying Scotsman that was expected to take 18-20 months and cost £1.6 million. However costs and timescales grew out of control and there were tensions between the museum and its contractors. In 2013 Riley & Son were awarded a contract to see the project to completion. The work was finished in 2016.[6][7][8][9] Riley & Son managed the locomotive's operations for two years after the restoration.[10]

Lady of LegendEdit

In 2006, the company worked on the rebuilding of GWR 4900 Class locomotive 4942 Maindy Hall to 2999 Lady of Legend.[11][12]


Key: In service Under overhaul/restoration Under repair Withdrawn Stored Sold for scrap Sold for further use
Number Class Name Year Acquired by Riley & Son (E) Ltd Previous Owner Livery Status
37038 37 2000 ex-EWS Civil Engineers Sold to Direct Rail Services in 2003, where it is currently operational.
37073 37 2003 ex-EWS Trans-Rail Scrapped in 2003.
37197 37 2000 ex-EWS IRE Two Tone Green Scrapped by Direct Rail Services in 2012.
37235 37 2002 ex-EWS Trainload Grey Scrapped by Harry Needle Railroad Company in 2008.
37261 37 2001 ex-EWS BR Green Sold to WCRC in 2004; then onto Direct Rail Services, where it has since been stripped for spares. Sold to The Scottish Thirty Seven Group for long-term restoration and moved from Barrow Hill to Bo'ness in July 2015.
37334 37 2001 ex-EWS Railfreight Distribution Scrapped by CF Booth Limited in 2005.
37423 37 2003 ex-EWS Trans-Rail Sold to WCRC in 2004; then onto Direct Rail Services, where it is currently operational.
37518 37 Fort William/An Gearasdan 2011 Steven Beniston Intercity Swallow Mainline operational - Sold to WCRC in 2013.
35009 SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 Shaw Savill ex-Woodham Brothers Stored dismantled. Riley has now taken on the restoration, expected to be restored to British Railways Express Passenger Blue.
35018 SR Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 British India Line Jeremy Hosking Sold to David Smith at West Coast Railways at Carnforth and is mainline operational.
44871 LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 Previously "Sovereign" 2007 The Beet Family (Dr Peter Beet) BR Lined Mixed-Traffic Black, Early emblem Mainline operational. Appears on rail tours such as The Jacobite.
45212 LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 - BR Lined Mixed-Traffic Black, Late crest Operational. On a 10-year loan agreement which will see it operate on the national network.
45407 LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 The Lancashire Fusilier 1997 Paddy Smith BR Lined Mixed-Traffic Black, Early emblem Mainline operational. Appears on rail tours such as The Jacobite.
47298 LMS Fowler Class 3F 2012 Major Hugh Parker BR Lined Mixed-Traffic Black, Early emblem Undergoing slow overhaul
60103 LNER Gresley Class A3 Flying Scotsman - - BR Lined Green, Late crest Mainline operational. On 2 year loan from the National Railway Museum after her restoration was completed by Ian Riley's team in Bury.
76079 BR Standard Class 4 2-6-0 1998 Derek Foster BR Lined Mixed-Traffic Black, Early emblem Sold to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway on 27 August 2009. Currently operational at the NYMR and mainline certified for use between Grosmont and Whitby with occasional visits to Battersby.


  1. ^ Regional News Rail issue 797 30 March 2016 page 25
  2. ^ Ian Riley acquires a fifth Class 37 Rail issue 440 24 July 2002 page 61
  3. ^ Riley Engineering launches image on 37 Rail issue 423 28 November 2001 page 17
  4. ^ Riley pulls out of diesel spot-hire market - four 37s for sale Rail issue 468 20 August 2003 page 61
  5. ^ Riley sells 37s to WCRC Rail issue 488 26 May 2004 page 23
  6. ^ "National Railway Museum reveals just how much its cost taxpayers to return Flying Scotsman to operation". 30 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  7. ^ "About - Flying Scotsman". National Railway Museum.
  8. ^ "Flying Scotsman: A colossus of British engineering reborn". The Daily Telegraph. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Restoring the nation's favourite: Bury rail yard working to repair the Flying Scotsman". Manchester Evening News.
  10. ^ "Full steam ahead as Flying Scotsman set to return to mainline by end of 2015". The Guardian. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  11. ^ "The Saint Project". 2999 Lady of Legend. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  12. ^ "The Railway Magazine - Volume 152 - Page 65".

External linksEdit